I live in Austria and came to Buddhism thought a Meditation book (pretty good: Meditation for Dummies). After this I have read their other books about Buddhism and I have seen so much truth in the teachings of Buddha.
Since following the most of this teachings I got pretty happy and satisfied.
My point of view is a bit different. I am a very strong Atheist and a fan of Dawkins. I would call myself a freethinker, that's why I don't believe in Karma and Reincarnation. Great that Buddhism has no dogmas there.
I take nothing for guaranteed and I'm a sceptic. I see a big problem in this dogmatic theism. People should start thinking for themselves, proofing, asking.
Buddhism has helped me a lot. And it even makes me more rational, helps me free-thinking and understanding a lot of things plus learned me how to control my emotions.
I do not live for breaking somewhere out, because it seems I'm not caged (that way). I live for the present and for me death is the end. But I have also learned that Hedonism makes addicted and distraught - that's why I try another way.
That was it - best regards.
Start free-thinking, start living.